The report first came out that Terrell Owens was coming in for a visit, and I just cringed. I had just woken from a nap, saw the tweets, turned my phone off and went back to sleep.
While it turns out I wasn’t dreaming that Owens had signed with Seattle, it certainly could turn into a nightmare. In the last three days, I’ve heard optimism and hope that this will finally be the time T.O. turns it around. I’ve heard all kinds of rationalizations, from “Owens hit rock bottom financially”, to “Seattle gets such little national media attention that he won’t be a distraction.” To that, I ask this simple question. If Owens had signed with another team, let’s say the Tennessee Titans, what would we be doing out here in Seattle? We’d be laughing our asses off that another team just can’t learn from the past.
It’s not such a far-fetched proposition. The Titans, like the Seahawks, are a young team on the verge of becoming a playoff franchise. They have an uncertain quarterback situation, with one veteran, and one unproven player. Imagine, if you will, that Jake Locker wins the quarterback battle in Nashville. The team starts 4-2, and is looking strong going into the late fall months. Everything sounds great; the Titans have made a smart choice and look like geniuses for bring back Terrell Owens. But then, Tennessee loses a shocker on the road to Jacksonville. It’s a close game, during which Terrell Owens only was targeted twice, and caught no passes. He’s yelling at his co-ordinator, he’s yelling at his quarterback, he’s yelling at everybody. When he’s asked about his tirade, he complains about not being a focal point of the offense, and asks how a player of his caliber only gets targeted twice in a game.
Now, the impressionable Locker starts to hesitate when he goes through his progressions. He begins to second-guess himself. The lack of confidence causes him to perform poorly. Meanwhile, Owens has rallied Tennessee’s young receivers to his cause. Kenny Britt and company decide they’re not getting enough touches either, and call for Matt Hasselbeck to take over. The locker room is divisive. Suddenly, the Titans go from a 4-2 team to being on the outside looking in, wondering what the hell happened. And as the lights dim on their 2012 season, one spotlight is shone brightly on the pot-stirring wide receiver standing alone, wondering how all this could have been done to him.
I really don’t see such a difference between the two teams or situations. Just substitute names. Kenny Britt is Sidney Rice, Jake Locker is Matt Flynn, and Matt Hasselbeck is (albeit a far less talented) Tarvaris Jackson. Is this the kind of locker room division we want to create with such a young team? People everywhere see this scenario for Seattle.
So what’s our mental malfunction here around the Sound? We all want the Seahawks to be successful. Sometimes our football sense gets blinded by the desire to win that elusive Super Bowl. But there’s a reason this player didn’t have an NFL job last year. And there’s a reason why he was cut from an Indoor Football League team. There’s a reason, several reasons actually, why he shouldn’t be on the Seattle Seahawks. We need to wake up and realize that, before this nightmare consumes our entire season.